Local artist and St. Nicholas School woodworking instructor Zachary Reynolds remembers his grandfather (the art resource director for Chattanooga City Schools for many years), said, “A child can do anything an adult can do if you break it down into simple steps.” He tries to apply this principle in woodworking class by using multiple simple steps to provide an entry point into the empowerment that comes with accessing the creative process. While constructing their projects, the kids learn hand-eye control and how to be mindful, patient, and confident.
Woodworking is a great way to offer kids an opportunity to “stop and smell the roses.” In this day and age when many activities for youth involve reacting to situations in a virtual setting, the hands-on process of working with wood requires students to be in the present moment.
Students have made real tool boxes and some very interesting wooden sculptures. For an earlier project they built a mobile of the solar system. The project that seems to be a favorite, and that has become a tradition, is the Ball jar candy machine.
"It is awesome to see the kids excited about the design and building process, and all the while they are learning critical thinking and problem-solving skills." – – Zachary Reynolds